Bart Blackwell Republican for South Carolina House

ISSUES

THE ECONOMY

As a small business owner for over 20 years, I’ve seen firsthand how decisions in Columbia can have a huge impact on business development and job growth – many times being the determining factor in an employer’s ability to expand their business and create jobs.

 

I will support legislation that reduces burdensome regulation and provides a favorable climate for business growth and expansion.   This includes looking for opportunities to reduce employer exposure to frivolous lawsuits and excessive damage awards, as well as, to control the cost of our worker's compensation program.  Currently, South Carolina has the 17th highest workers compensation premiums in the country.  This must be addressed to reduce the burden these premiums place on employers.

 

Proudly, South Carolina is the least unionized state in the country.  I will fight to ensure that employers and business owners, not union bosses, are able to make the best decisions for themselves and their employees. 

EDUCATION

We must continue to work to improve the quality of public education in South Carolina. This includes how well we treat our teachers.  In order to increase recruitment and improve retention, we must increase salaries and improve working conditions.  But, we must demand better results and support a parent’s right to choose the education that is best for their child.

 

Additionally, in order to continue to attract large manufacturers and the exceptional wages and benefits they offer, we must make sure we continue to emphasize and support our excellent technical school system.   We must invest in the technical education of our youth and continue to retrain our existing workforce in order to prepare them for today’s demanding but rewarding jobs.

TAXES

South Carolina has the 13th highest personal income tax rate in the country.  This rate is too high and in fact is higher than the SC corporate tax rate.  This places an unfair burden on small business owners for whom business profits are usually taxed at the higher personal income tax rate.  It also puts our state at a competitive disadvantage when compared to our neighboring states with lower rates.  I will work to reduce our personal and corporate income taxes and support sensible and fair flat tax proposals.

INFRASTRUCTURE

To continue to attract business investment to our community and state, it is critical that we maintain our roads and vital infrastructure. Unfortunately, many of our roads and bridges are rated as either in need of repair or structurally deficient.  I am committed to continuing our efforts to reform the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and working with members of both the state House and Senate to ensure that we have the funding necessary to fix our roads now and maintain them in the future. 

GUNS

I took an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of this State and of the United States and will ensure that our right to keep and bear arms is not eroded. As a veteran, NRA member, gun owner, and CWP holder, I am committed to preserving your 2nd Amendment rights.

VETERANS

As a veteran, I am particularly sensitive to the needs of our veterans and their families.  I will defend the health and financial stability of all veterans and work to provide employment opportunities and proper medical care for those returning from overseas deployment.

PUBLIC SAFETY

Local and state law enforcement have been under siege by those quick to condemn any enforcement action resulting in injury and/or death regardless of the circumstances.   The criminals become the victims and law enforcement officers can become paralyzed by the potential ramifications of doing their job.  I will strongly advocate for our local and state law enforcement and emergency services personnel by ensuring they have the equipment, training, and support necessary to keep our citizens and themselves safe.

SAVANNAH RIVER SITE

I will work to promote current and future missions at the Savannah River Site.  I will advocate for both the environmental clean-up mission and the future growth and expansion of the Savannah River National Lab (SRNL).  SRNL is a National treasure located in our own backyard and should be supported.  Their recent decision to locate the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative at USC-Aiken demonstrates SRNL’s commitment to our area and is a potential “game changer” for the Aiken community.